SEO :: What is it?

3 12 2009

Search Engine Optimization is not a test.

Parents, teachers, doctors, friends and family bombarded us with tests.  How far can we throw the ball?  How fast can we run?  How do you spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?  What’s the hypotenuse of a triangle?

Given the opportunity to prepare, we studied the material and rehearsed the correct answers.  As long as the questions were asked in the anticipated form, we delivered the desired result.  We were graded accordingly and moved on to the next test.  Only rarely were we called upon to repeat the exercise.

The same test might have been given to one or 1,000 people.  Each person who provided similar responses to similar questions received the same score.

Search Engine Optimization is a race, a never-ending race.

Only one website can come in “first” for any given search term.  Every other website falls into a sequential line behind #1, i.e. #2, #3, #4, etc.  There will never be two websites with the same placement in search results.  Once upon a time, it was relatively easy to achieve a top position in search results for multiple search terms.  That has changed.

In less than ¼ second, Google will deliver 1,210,000 results for a search of, “SEO Companies USA.”  Whether there are 1,000,000+ companies providing those services or not is irrelevant.

Just know that if you are successful in your efforts to achieve a top search result placement for your website, the entire world is striving to replace it.  Every minute of every day, your website position is vulnerable.  White hat, black hat, ethical, unethical, moral, immoral efforts will be made by others to achieve your #1 placement.  If they don’t succeed today, they will try again tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year.

Those who seek or initiate SEO services must understand that it is a long-term process fraught with successes and setbacks.  A strategy with specific goals and reasonable alternatives is absolutely imperative.  It is unrealistic to expect top placement for a plethora of search terms.  Some terms will already be so well optimized by others as to make your efforts cost-prohibitive.  Driving a Smart car, you would never enter a race with a Ferrari, unless it was a competition for best gas mileage.

Therefore search terms/key words must be carefully selected to not only identify the services or products offered on your website.  Their competitive “power” must also be considered.  Careful selection of the races you choose to enter and the vehicles you choose to race will give you the best chance for success.  Just remember that your competition will alter its strategy once it measures your results.  Be prepared to revise your selection repeatedly.

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